Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

Yesterday was the start of some nasty weather for us here on the coast, side ways rain, wind...the usual, if not a bit earlier this year. Regardless to say it is soup and other (wondrous comfort food) weather. Nothing (well that may not be totally true) could be easier than this tasty recipe.

Large Pot
Immersion Blender
Large Bowl
Liquid Measuring Cup
Wooden Spoon/Spatula

3 Lrg. (or 4 mdm) Leeks (green tops removed, and stalk shopped into rings)
3 Mdm. Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
4 Tbl. Unsalted butter
Good size pinch of Kosher salt
4C. Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1C. Heavy Cream
1C. Buttermilk
Pepper to taste

Rinse leeks in large bowl (after chopping) to get the dirt out from between the layers.

In large pot, over medium heat melt butter and sweat leeks with kosher salt for about 5 minutes. Lower heat and cook (stirring every once in a while) leeks about 25 minutes. Add potatoes and stock, and cook for 35-45 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
Use your immersion blender (a regular blender will work just be careful about the heat of the soup) to blend everything together. Once there are no chunks, mix in your buttermilk, cream and pepper.

Serve hot with fresh dill or chives, and little parmesan toasts on the side.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Party Balls

My roommate and I recently threw a Keg & Diaper part for a friend of ours, who is going to be a first time father. It was an early evening (but after dinner time) event so we needed some good snacks that were easy to eat. So...the BBQ Wing Balls, and the Buffalo Wing Balls were born. These are made with ground turkey, but you could easily substitute any other type of ground meat of your choosing.

Sauce pan
Baking dish
Mixing bowl
Mixing utensil (fork, wooden spoon ect...)
Oil for greasing baking dish

Buffalo Wing Balls
1/2 Stick Unsalted butter
1/3C Franks Red Hot
1lb Ground Turkey
1 Egg
3/4 Celery stalk, finely minced
3/4C Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and sauce together. Remove from heat when melted together and let cool.

While butter mixture is cooling, mix together your ground turkey, egg, celery and bread crumbs. When butter mix is just about room temperature, add it to the meat mixture and mix everything together.

Roll balls to desired size, and place in greased baking dish.

Cook for about 20 minutes.

Serve with Blue Cheese Dip, or Ranch if preferred.

BBQ Balls

1 lb Ground Turkey
BBQ Sauce of choice
1 egg
3/4C. Bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients together, adding as much (or little) BBQ sauce as you would like for desired flavor. As with Buffalo Balls, roll into desired size and bake in greased dish for 20 minutes at 450.


Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

I absolutely love hot wings, and mac n why not combine them?! I used chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could easily use already cooked rotisserie chicken from the store if you wanted to cut your time down.
*I would suggest making a little extra sauce in case you want to add more when reheating your leftovers.

1/2 - 1lb Pasta
4Tbl Unsalted Butter
4 Chicken Breasts (cut in strips)
Minced onion and or garlic
1C Franks Red Hot
3Tbl. Flour
2tsp. Dry Mustard
1 1/2C Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1/2C Pepperjack Cheese (grated)
1C Milk (more if needed)
1/4C Heavy Cream
1/3C Sour Cream or Plain Nonfat Yogurt
Sour Cream
Blue Cheese Crumbles


2 sauce pots (one medium and one large)
1 saute pan
Cheese Grater

In large Sauce pot boil water with a pinch of salt to cook pasta.

While pasta is cooking melt a tablespoon of butter with a splash of olive oil in a saute pan and add chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) to pan with minced onion (or garlic)when onion has just softened add Franks Red Hot to cover chicken and let it simmer. Flip the chicken every once in a while so it cooks evenly.

While chicken is cooking you can start your sauce. In a medium size sauce pot melt 3Tbl. butter, whisk in flour and dry mustard. When the this is crumble begin to whisk in the milk and heavy cream. Stir in Cheddar and Pepperjack cheese, when cheese is about melted stir in your sour cream. If sauce is too think you can add a little more milk. Add in Salt, Pepper and Franks to taste.

Drain your pasta and return to pan off of heat. Chop up cooked chicken and add to pasta. When sauce is to your liking pour over pasta and serve with blue cheese crumbles on top.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Alfredo

While flipping through one of my numerous cooking magazines, I cam across a "kids meal" that just sounded so wonderfully tasty I had to give it a whirl. Since it was suppose to be a kids meal, with very light flavors I decided to punch it up a little bit with some garlic, a tad more cheese and a pinch of chile.
This will server roughly 5 hungry women.

Medium saute pan (you can use a pot, I just find the saute pan easier for whisking)
Cutting Board


1 1/2 Tbl. Unsalted butter
1 Shallot, minced
1/2 C. Pumpkin (Libby's is my favorite)
Pinch of Nutmeg and Chile Powder
1 1/2 C Parmesan, grated
1 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter on medium heat, add shallot and cook 1-2 minutes (until just soft). Add pumpkin, nutmeg and chile powder, stir until just incorporated. Slowly whisk in cream (so as not to splash everywhere), when cream has all been mixed in add the cheese a bit at a time until it's all melted. When cheese has all melted in with the cream and pumpkin and your garlic powder, and your salt and pepper to your taste. Server warm over alfredo noodles or cheese tortellini.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mustard Chops w/Cider "gravy" & Brussels Sprouts

This is one of those dishes that thankfully turns out fantastic, even though when you started you had no idea what you were making. A friend was to join me for dinner, and I had done no shopping...thankfully I tend to have things laying around.
Once again, these measurements are all a complete guess, because I was just tossing things in a pan and hoping for the best.


2C. Brussels Sprouts, sliced
2-3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/4C Onion (yellow, white or sweet) chopped
1tsp. Vinegar (apple cider or coconut is best)
1/3C. Rough-chop Parmesan cheese (Romano would be fine as well)
1-2tsp. Maple syrup
Pinch of salt (more to taste if needed)

Make sure to pull off the couple outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts, as well as any extra unsightly looking leaves.
Cut (or shred) your Brussels sprouts, and lightly handle them to loosen them up.
In a large saute' pan cook the bacon on medium heat, until just cooked. At this stage add your onion and pinch of salt, cook until onion soften, add Brussels sprouts, and vinegar. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then add in cheese. When Brussels sprouts are just about cooked all the way through, add the maple syrup and lower the heat to medium-low, cook for a minute or two more...just to incorporate the syrup and get a nice bit of browning on the sprouts. Serve warm.

2 Boneless Pork Chops
Dijon Mustard
Butter (unsalted)
Apple Cider (juice is fine if you don't have cider)

Salt and pepper your chops on both sides.
Heat a medium saute pan (that you can cover) on medium heat with a Tbl of butter and a splash of oil (grapeseed is best). Brush one side of the chops with mustard and place face down in the pan, brush the other side while the chop is in the's easier. Cook chops 3-5 minutes on each side, so you get a nice "crust" on both sides. Poor enough cider to just cover the bottom of the pan about a 1/4" deep.* Cover pan with lid and cook till chops are just about cooked through. Remove the lid, and allow the chops to finish off on both side so they have a nice caramelized covering. Remove the chops and keep warm while the cider continues to cook down into a gravy, add a bit more butter if it looks like the cider is just going to cook down to a gooey mess.

*While the chops are cooking away with the cider. Peel and slice about half an apple. In a small pan melt a bit of butter and cook your apples until they are soft, but not soggy. Stir them occasionally while they cook, so you do not burn them.

Serve your chops with the sauteed apples on top, and the cider gravy drizzled atop the apples. Serve the Brussels sprouts along side.